Di Maio calls for Mattarella to be impeached after candidate vetoed

Giuseppe Conte gave up his mandate to form a government after the Italian president refused his choice for economy minister 

Italian President Sergio Mattarella
Italian President Sergio Mattarella

Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the populist Five Star Party, has called for the Italian president to be impeached after he vetoed a choice for finance minister.

Di Maio said President Sergio Mattarella had caused an "institutional crisis".

Di Maio called for impeachment under article 90 of the constitution, which allows parliament to demand a president step down based on a simple majority vote.

If the vote is in favour, the country's constitutional court then decides whether to impeach or not.

"I want this institutional crisis to be taken to parliament... and the president tried," Di Maio said.

"After tonight, it's truly difficult to believe in the institutions and the laws of the state."

Earlier, Mattarella, was installed by a previous pro-EU government, refused to accept the nomination for finance minister of Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake”.

This led to PM-designate Giuseppe Conte’s plans to form a government to collapse, and stepped down.  

“I have given up my mandate to form the government of change,” Conte told reporters after leaving failed talks with Mattarella.

Conte said President Mattarella has been in talks with former IMF economist Carlo Cottarelli, who is tipped as a potential stop-gap prime minister.

Five Star had been trying to form a government with the right-wing League after Italy remained without a government since March elections.

League leader Matteo Salvini called for fresh elections.

"In a democracy, if we are still in democracy, there's only one thing to do, let the Italians have their say," he told supporters in a speech in central Italy.

The country is now expected to go to the polls again in the autumn.

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